By Brian Flynn
Image by Gavin Rathbone
Altrincham Football Club is in mourning, following the passing of club legend Mark Maddox, who lived with Motor Neurone Disease for more than 12 years.
Nicknamed ‘Mad Dog’ by Alty fans, ’Mads’ to his team-mates , Mark made almost 350 appearances for the Robins between 1996-2006, scoring a magnificent header against Darlington in front of the ‘Match of The Day’ cameras in 2001 and being an integral part of the team that won promotion back to the National League in May 2005, defeating Eastbourne Borough 2-1 at Stoke City’s ground in the play-off final, a hugely memorable day for Alty fans.
A trojan and a warrior on the pitch, Mark was a hugely compassionate man off it, and these qualities were shown in amazing abundance after he was diagnosed with the terminal muscle wasting condition MND in 2010 and told that he had just two-to-five years to live.
Mark came to terms incredibly with his predicament, embarking on a remarkable fund-raising and awareness campaign that would see him become the first person with MND to complete the London Marathon, do a parachute jump and record an album and perform in Liverpool and at Altrincham Football Club with his band ‘Last of a Dying Breed’.
Mark kicked off his testimonial game against Tranmere Rovers at The J.Davidson Stadium in 2011, and two Altrincham fans, Dan Martell and Niall Flynn, cycled to Cambridgeshire for the Robins’ final game of the season at Histon in 2014, raising funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA).
Mad Dog’s final visit to Altrincham Football Club, was a special one, meeting one of his heroes, boxer Frank Bruno, at a Sports Dinner in 2018.
Needless to say, heartfelt tributes poured in for Mark from team-mates, colleagues, friends and others who had the privilege of knowing him. Here, we reproduce two twitter messages with an Alty connection. The first from former Alty keeper Stuart Coburn...
Love this photo at mads testimonial ❤️RIP my friend. pic.twitter.com/dpPg9ixm9v— Stuart (@stuartcoburn5) August 22, 2023
... and the second from Alty President and former Chairman Grahame Rowley.
Mark Maddox was a colossus, an inspiration to everyone who knew him and watched him play. He made the most of his talents and the most of his life, and he will be remembered as one of the finest and most wonderful individuals in the history of Altrincham Football Club.
He was also the most loving husband and father, and everyone at Altrincham Football Club, sends their deepest and most sincere condolences to Mark’s wife, Jayne, and their three children, Sonny, Vinny and Bo.
There will be a minute’s applause, to celebrate Mark’s incredible life, at Saturday’s game at The J.Davidson Stadium against Chesterfield FC (KO 3pm).